Module 01: Understanding Yourself In the World of Work

You, the World and your Career Choices

Career decisions are not made in isolation, but rather any number of outside influences may impact your career trajectory. Each and every career and life decision we make is influenced in some way by the people and cultures around us. Choosing a career path is not only based upon your personal characteristics. Other factors, such as your personal circumstances as well as the types of opportunities and needs you notice in your environment, play a part as well. As we outlined in the introductory module, the labor market is continuously changing. It is crucial to stay up to date on business trends in order to better position yourself for success within an ever-evolving working world.

Ask yourself:
  • What needs am I observing in my community?
  • Where do I see opportunities?

Personal factors may include:


Location can have a big impact on your career decisions. Certain jobs require living in a specific region, or you may find that employment opportunities are more available in a particular city or country. Think about your preferences in terms of where you want to live, how close you want to be to family, friends, and which locations can support your desired lifestyle. If you are determined to work remotely, be sure to get that in writing!

For many of us, close family and friends have a huge influence on our career choices. They may have strong opinions about what is the ‘best’ career path for you. Consider their opinions and how much weight you should give to their observations. Keep in mind, it might be difficult to carve your own path if you don’t have your family’s full support.


Your culture may influence your career journey as well. Cultural expectations carry a strong message about acceptability, directly impacting expected education and career choices. Furthermore, your cultural background may effect your value system. Do you evaluate a career choice based upon its perceived prestige, earning potential, or personal fulfilment?  Consider the cultural influences that may play a role in your career path.

Financial Situation

Your own and/or your family’s financial situation may also be a factor that influences your career path. You might be interested in a career that requires lengthy and expensive training and you would need to consider what kind of financial support is available to you. Your personal financial needs may also be taken into consideration when you are making decisions about your career. Will the earning potential of the chosen field match your financial requirements? How important might this aspect be for you in a few years’ time?

Share This Book